Medical association says no to Malacca snap polls


Having an election in Malacca may cause a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections, as was the case in Sabah last year, says the Malaysian Medical Council. – Facebook pic, October 7, 2021.

PUTRAJAYA should refrain from holding the snap polls in Malacca or at least put it off until the country returns to a new normal after the Covid-19 epidemic, the Malaysian Medical Council said today.
 
MMA president Koh Kar Chai chided the politicians who were putting themselves above the nation by stirring a political crisis just when the country was on track to recovery.
 
“As far as the medical fraternity is concerned, we are dead against a state election being held during this time, not at least till the current situation returns to near normal,” he said in a statement.
 
“Selfish and irresponsible are how one can describe politicians in the Malacca assembly,” he said.
 
While the number of Covid-19 infections in the country has been on a downward trend in the past few weeks, the figure is still in the thousands, he added.
 
“Granted that a high percentage of our population have been vaccinated, the number being infected is still high.”
 
Having an election now is akin to “jumping out of the frying pan and into the fire”, he added.
 
“Many say that we are in this current sad state of affairs because of the Sabah elections which sparked a chain of rapid Covid-19 transmission in Malaysia.
 
“Aren’t these sobering numbers to the politicians who are clamouring for an election to be held?” he asked.
 
The Sabah election last September was held despite the advice of the health authorities.
 
As a result, there was a surge in the number of Covid-19 infections in Malaysia. Prior to the election, the lockdown in March brought the number of infections to single digits.
 
Koh said the actions of these politicians show that they have no regard for the frontliners who have been facing a never-ending stream of patients at hospitals nationwide and at quarantine centres.
 
“The success of the vaccination programme has only just given these exhausted and dedicated frontliners a respite.
 
“What happened to the truce that was called by politicians from opposing sides and their pledge to work together for the sake of the people?” Koh questioned.
 
Four assemblymen announced on Monday that they had lost confidence in Malacca Chief Minister Sulaiman Md Ali and withdrew support for him. 

The four are former chief minister Idris Haron (Sg Udang), Nor Azman Hassan (Pantai Kundor), Noor Effandi Ahmad (Telok Mas) and Norhizam Hassan Baktee (Pengkalan Batu).
 
Following the withdrawal of support, Sulaiman is now backed by 12 assemblymen (one from Bersatu, the rest from Barisan Nasional) while the opposition has 15 (11 from Pakatan Harapan, two from BN, one from Bersatu and one independent).
 
On Tuesday, Governor Mohd Ali Mohd Rustam dissolved the state assembly following a request by Sulaiman. 
 
State elections must now be held in the next 60 days. The legislative assembly has 28 seats.
 
Political analysts and Umno president have mooted the idea of placing Malacca under an emergency as the snap polls may lead to a resurgence in Covid-19 cases.
 
In August, the federal government extended the emergency in Sarawak to February 2022 to prevent the state polls from taking place.
 
The whole country was placed in an emergency from January 11 to August 1 prior to that move.
 
Malaysia today reported 9,890 new Covid-19 infections. The latest statistics bring the cumulative number of infections to 2,313,727.
 
To date, more than 45 million doses have been administered under the vaccination campaign which was rolled out on February 24. – October 7, 2021.


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